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Voices

Voices


Exploring and celebrating diversity in science.
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    Diverse ideas and perspectives benefit science—as studies amply demonstrate—yet progress toward equal representation of minority groups within the scientific community has been frustratingly slow.

    With that in mind, in July 2014, Scientific American launched Voices, a blog in our award-winning network that celebrates eclecticism in research, exploration and communication about science.

    We hope you will join us and invite you to send your ideas, thoughts, questions and comments to sciamblogs@sciam.com.
     

  • For Female Physicists, Peer Mentoring Can Combat Isolation

    Our mentoring network of senior physics faculty at liberal arts institutions. Clockwise from top right: Linda Fritz, Cindy Blaha, Barbara Whitten and Anne Cox.

    Women physicists are often isolated at work. Just consider the numbers: 86 percent of American faculty physicists are male; 89 percent of PhD physicists working in the science and engineering industry are male; and it was just in 2012 that the number of physics PhDs earned by women reached even 20 percent. To increase the [...]

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    Culture Dish: Promoting Diversity in Science Writing

    Image courtesy of Klari Reis - www.klariart.com

    The most persistent — and infuriating — question about diversity in science writing has to be: “Why do we need diversity?” Sometimes that question is followed by this: “Isn’t science color-blind?” To answer that second question first — no, science is most definitely not color-blind, any more than history or politics or literature is color-blind. [...]

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    Middle Schoolers Develop App to Help Visually Impaired

    From left to right: Cassandra Baquero, Andres Salas, Janessa Leija and Caitlin Gonzales in front of the White House.

    “We saw him struggling, trying to get around. What if we could create an app to help him?” Like many great ideas, Hello Navi started with a question. The app—invented by Cassandra Baquero, Grecia Cano, Caitlyn Gonzalez, Kayleen Gonzalez, Janessa Leija and Jacqueline Garcia Torres—helps visually challenged students navigate their school grounds. Hello Navi was [...]

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    DIY Culture Empowers the Next Generation of Latinas in STEM

    During DIY Girls workshops, young women make connections between making in their community and making with technology, and the door that can open. (Courtesy of Luz Rivas, DIY Girls)

    Editor’s note: During National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15), Ciencia Puerto Rico and Borinqueña are celebrating the work of organizations inspiring, supporting and empowering Latinas in STEM fields. You can read this profile in Spanish here. We all have the ability to create. To innovate. To make. The organization DIY (“Do-It-Yourself”) Girls [...]

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    Media Watch: An Essential Tool in Diversity

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    Diversity brings excellence to science, the workplace and other human endeavors, as research is showing. And the media plays a crucial role in shaping how society views its members, second perhaps only to the entertainment industry in such influence. So how we in the media business express the news could set back efforts for a [...]

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    Latinas in STEM: Making Bright Futures a Reality

    Members of the Latinas in STEM Board of Directors (from left to right): Madeline Salazar, Noramay Cadena, Jazlyn Carvajal, Veronica Garcia and Daiana Albarrán Chicas. (Credit: Latinas in STEM)

    Editor’s note: During National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15), Ciencia Puerto Rico and Borinqueña are celebrating the work of organizations inspiring, supporting and empowering Latinas in STEM fields. You can read the following post in Spanish here. Latinas have a bright future in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Latina girls love [...]

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    Making Astronomy Accessible for the Visually Impaired

    The author stands next to Solar System Radio Explorer Kiosk at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The kit allows users to learn about solar radio waves through hearing and touch. (Credit: William S. Leibman)

    A couple of years ago, one of my thesis mentors sought visually impaired scientists working at a major space science agency in the United States. I was surprised when he reported that there were several visually impaired engineers, but almost no visually impaired scientists like me. Physics, mathematics and astronomy are often regarded as highly [...]

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    Diversity in STEM: What It Is and Why It Matters

    Mural, 24th. Street, Chigago. (Seth Anderson via Flickr)

    Innovations resulting from science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields have positively touched nearly every aspect of human life. Scientific innovations do not arise on their own; each is brought forth through the hard work and ingenuity of scientists. Therefore, the quality of the scientific research enterprise, and its ability to meet the needs of, [...]

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    Female Physicists Worldwide Fight Sexist Stereotypes

    Three physicists meet at the International Conference on Women in Physics August 5-8, 2014 in Waterloo, Canada.  Credit: Marina Milner-Bolotin/ICWIP

    Women in physics tend to be outnumbered by men nearly all over the world. For a few days in early August, however, it didn’t feel that way when I attended the International Conference on Women in Physics in Waterloo, Canada. Hundreds of women from about 50 countries gathered there for talks, posters and brainstorming sessions [...]

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    Science Media Beset with Gender Gaps

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    In the fall of 2005, I and a couple hundred other new students at Columbia University’s journalism school walked into a lecture hall for a series of welcome speeches, and two things happened that impressed me. I learned from one of the dean’s that somewhere around two-thirds of us were female. And Jill Abramson, who [...]

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